For the past couple of weeks in New York City, New York, The LEGO Group has opened their latest LEGO Store. It will be the first flagship store to feature its latest and newest retail format.
This flagship store is specifically located in a two-storey location on Fifth Avenue.
This store format will be introduced to over 100 stores worldwide in the upcoming year. This new format will help create some digital and physical immersive experiences.
The Shift to Retail Entertainment
The New York City flagship store is a part of The LEGO Group's strategy to appeal to consumer demand.
Consumers apparently want more personalised and interactive retail offerings. Plus, the company knows that people prefer going to an actual brick-and-mortar store instead of looking things up online. It's more fun that way.
Despite this, there has been a surge in online shopping, especially since many children and adults are interested in playing or collecting these toys.
The Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of The LEGO Group is Colette Burke. According to the CCO:
"For a number of years, we have seen the trend towards people visiting stores for some high-quality, and entertaining brand experiences. Over the past year, our fans have missed the personal and tactile interactions with the brand. We can't wait to welcome them back."
From the sounds of it, people are just generally interested in touching the toys before buying them and seeing the hype first-hand.
"We’ve designed the spaces to fire up creativity and imagination and encourage hands-on play. Our talented designers have developed entirely new experiences that blend the very best of ground-breaking customisation, technology and physical play allowing visitors to interact with the brand in exciting new ways.”
Research From LEGO
The LEGO Group has spent over 2 years developing new retail concepts and researching what the children and/or shoppers want, especially when they visit a LEGO store.
They noticed that people seemed to like:
- Playing with the toys
- Participating in LEGO-inspired activities
- Having a personalised experience
- Having lots of fun
What the Flagship Store Has
Thus, the New York City flagship store will have the following:
- The Brick Lab, where people can make LEGO builds and then interact with a virtual world
- The Tree of Discovery, that will serve as a centerpiece of 880,000 LEGO pieces
- The Storytelling Table designed for adult LEGO fans
- The Personalisation Studio for visitors to make mementos via Mosaic Maker and/or Minifigure Factory
- Larger-than-life builds of various city locations and pop-culture characters/icons
Let's dive even further to break this all down.
The Brick Lab will use in-store technology to make ceilings, floors, and walls come to life with various sounds, music, and light for a fun building and playing experience. It will highlight the sensory aspect that many children, teens, and adults seem to enjoy.
The Tree of Discovery will serve as a central feature of the store and is supposed to embody The LEGO Group's commitment to being inclusive and having a positive impact on the planet and society. For example, LEGO has made great strides to be more environmentally sustainable, such as reducing plastic waste and using organic materials on specific LEGO bricks.
The Storytelling Table, serving the adult fans, will reportedly allow them to bring the stories of sets to life. For example, it will show early product designs and various prototypes. It will also showcase the development process behind these pieces, and even allow fans to potentially meet the LEGO designers virtually.
The Personalisation Studio is for visitors, especially for those who want a little souvenir. Through this studio, you can reimagine yourself in LEGO form, such as through a portrait from the LEGO Mosaic Maker or even as a Minifigure from the LEGO Minifigure Factory.
At other locations, LEGO Expression can help visitors have a little extra fun. For example, perhaps the LEGO Minifigures will mimic facial expressions.
Unique to the New York City store, there will be faithful recreations of the various parts of the city, such as:
- The Empire State Building
- One World Trade Skyscraper
- A New York taxicab
- Billboards and lights along Broadway and Times Square
There will also be larger-than-life recreations of various Marvel Superheroes such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, and other assorted movie figures like the Ghostbusters crew and their firehouse.
This newly proposed store format is supposed to be flexible so that most other LEGO stores (at least 100 of them) will be able to mostly accommodate it as faithfully as possible. Third-party retail partners' stores may be able to do the same.
For now, The LEGO Group has 731 branded stores across 50 countries and plans to open 120 new stories by 2021. Of course, given world events, there will be more e-commerce investments, especially since more people are shopping online.
For the people of New York City, New York, perhaps it might be fun to visit The LEGO Store and see what all the fuss is about. You might find some fun with the family, yourself, or even friends.